It is a huge decision for high school graduates to move out of their parents’ house and go to a different state, country or even continent for university. For many, going to uni and living alone or with roommates can be an exciting experience which adds to the college lifestyle in a way that staying at home does not. But there are also downsides to living away from home for uni, as not everyone is able to enjoy the lifestyle in the same way.
Pro 1 – The Social Life
It’s no surprise that living in communal accommodation, such as a dorm room, is a great catalyst for what can be an amazing social life at uni. Living with and being around the same groups of people (who are just as anxious to make friends as you are) can turn into some pretty deep friendships, and college dorms are famous for their parties and mixers. Students who stay at home may find they’re ‘missing out’ on the kind of bond that is developed between students who study, party and live together. There is usually always something going on, so students living away from home are constantly in the mix of new social experiences and interactions to bring them out of their shell as a new student.
Pro 2 – Independence
Whether you feel prepared or terrified, living away from home for uni will thrust you into an independent lifestyle you’ve never had before. Even if you have roommates, you’ll still have to cook, clean, and wash your clothes. You’ll probably even have to budget your student lifestyle if, like most students, you only have a small part-time job. This can all seem scary, but it’s actually a great aspect of moving away from home. You’ll learn to live on your own, be independent from your parents and not rely on anyone but yourself. Students who move out and experience this independence often find that it teaches them a lot more than a class does, and can be a very maturing experience to coincide with getting a degree – a doubly rewarding experience!
Con 1 – The Cost
Despite the perks of the student social life, paying for them can be a struggle, especially if you’re living on your own away from family. If you’re self-sufficient and only have a part-time job to support your studies, you may find that the partying and going out has to take a backseat so you can afford amenities like gas, electricity and food. This is all part of independent living, but if you’re living with parents these things are taken care of and you needn’t worry about them. The last thing you need as a busy, hardworking student is the worry about bills and money looming over you.
Con 2 – It Can Be Scary
It can be really exciting to leave home for uni, but for a lot of young students, this can be a scary experience! If you’ve always lived with your parents and siblings, it can be a huge adjustment to suddenly be hundreds or thousands of miles away from them. The constant buzz of social activities appeal to some, but for quieter introverts it can be difficult to join in or make friends when there’s so much going on. It can therefore sometimes be an isolating experience, when you’re homesick and shy, to be living away from home for uni. It’s completely normal to be homesick, but many students find it difficult to ease into campus life when they’re missing home so much, so for some it might be a better option to stay at home and study at a nearby uni.